Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Naartje or citrus nobilis

It may not be known to the ordinary individual that the botanical name for "naartje" is"citrus nobilis."
When the first shipment of this delicious fruit arrived in England some years ago from the Cape no one there had the slightest idea what a "naartje" was; now, however, the word is generally used in Europe instead of the less understood scientific name.

Eastern Province Herald - January 12, 1909

Oh how I love naartjies, specially the loosed skin variety. Somehow their sweetness is so appealing. I notice the spelling has changed since the old Dutch influence days. Strange, but "naar" in Afrikaans means "queasy" and the letters "tje" when added to the end of a word implies "small". So translated it means "little queasy". The name is Afrikaans and comes from the Tamil word "nartei," which means "citrus". Apparently the word has been used in South Africa since 1790. Our lovable naartjie is also known as "citrus reticulata".

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